Question: Since when did it become a good idea to have desk exercises at work?
Answer: Since sitting became the new smoking.
Quite an exaggeration when considered at face value but according to scientists, inactivity is responsible for more annual deaths than smoking. A sedentary lifestyle has also been associated with 6% of coronary heart disease cases, 7% of type 2 diabetes, 10% of breast cancer cases and 10% of colon cancer cases globally.
Now, think about it again, most workers spend more time on their butts than on their feet. Overall, the average human now spends almost 20 hours either sitting or lying down and this could lead to serious health issues later on.
The solution: Increased physical activity.
This is where desk exercises – or deskercises as we call them – come in. You can think of it as a compromise between sitting for eight hours and hitting the gym when you just. don’t. have. the. time. Below are five creative exercises you can do right at your desk that will get you moving better (but sweating lesser).
Tip: for your desk exercises to be more effective, combine all the workout routines.
1. Chest Opener
Stand tall with your core braced. Place both hands behind your head with fingers interlaced and lean back. The goal is to open the chest and stretch pectorals (no backbend necessary). Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Do 2 to 3 reps.
2. Toe Raises with Chair
Stand behind your chair and place both hands on the back. Press your shoulders down and rise onto the balls of your feet, squeezing butt and legs as you hold at the top for 3 to 5 seconds. Do 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps.
3. Desk Push-Up
With your chair out of the way, stand two feet away from the desk. Lean forward and place both hands on the edge of the desk, so your body is at an angle. Perform a push-up by bending the elbows and lowering your chest toward the desk. Make sure your elbows are close to the torso. Do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps. Ensure your desk is sturdy enough and won’t shift under your weight.
4. Chair Squat
Stand in front of your chair and perform a squat by bending the knees to lower yourself into the chair. Keep your arms extended at chest height. Tap your butt on the chair (don’t sit down!), then stand. Do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.
5. Rotating Lunge
Stand with your feet wider than hip width. Drop into a lunge by rotating your torso to the left, pivoting on the toes, and bending your left knee and right knee behind you. In one smooth movement, return to stand at your original position, then rotate to right and repeat lunge on the other side. Do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.
This is not an exhaustive list but the few tips here will set you on the way to being fitter and healthier at work.